Library of Congress Symposium on the Federal Writers' Project, June 16, 2023

Guha Shankar Announcement
District of Columbia, United States
Subject Fields
American History / Studies, Government and Public Service, Oral History, Public History, Research and Methodology


The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress will host afree public symposium bringing together the contemporary perspectives of public scholars, documentary producers and curators on the legacy of the Federal Writers’ Project (1935-39). The event focuses attention on the ways in which the Library’s extraordinary archival collection of FWP materials continues to inform and inspire public outreach and interdisciplinary scholarship in fields ranging from public and oral history to folklore to journalism and ethnic studies. The symposium is anchored by contributing authors to the recently published book Rewriting America: New Essays on the Federal Writers’ Project.

The symposium will feature a rich array of scholarship on topics including new readings of the narratives of formerly enslaved African Americans, the practice and production of oral history podcasts in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and emergent research into the once-obscured work of Asian American and Mexican American writers in the FWP. Prominent historians Catherine Stewart, Jerrold Hirsch, and John Edgar Tidwell will participate in roundtable discussions alongside emerging scholars, LC curators, policy makers, and media producers. Renowned oral historian Alessandro Portelli will travel from Italy to deliver the keynote address.

WHERE: James Madison Building - Mumford Room (LM649)

101 Independence Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20540

Register Now 

Description of the symposium and biographies

This program is made possible with the generous support of the American Folklore Society, the Oral History Association and City University of New York.

Contact Information

Guha Shankar, PhD; Sr. Folklife Specialist

American Folklife Center

Library of Congress

Washington, DC

Contact Email